By: Pamela G. Kennedy
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Reviewed By: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: April 26, 2023
Author Pamela G. Kennedy has made a vibrant connection between tearooms, traditions, and a treasure trove of creative discernment in her debut book, Tea Attitudes: A Blend of Tea, Life & Faith.
Having traveled in many parts of the world, Kennedy was always drawn to each location’s tea-drinking habits, since her childhood had included the custom of daily, afternoon teatime. Her recollections encompass the general tearoom ambience, often quite grand, the delicacies served, and the attitudes of servers and fellow imbibers. Her engaging memoir begins with a visit to one of London, England’s most famous hotel-based tearooms, where she is addressed by her server as “Milady.” This seemingly undeserved title causes her to contemplate what may happen when one is given an unearned gift. She urges readers to note the situations life offers to receive God’s grace and reciprocate by sharing with others. Kennedy, with her mother and daughter, visits a historic venue in Victoria, British Columbia, where the server accidentally knocks over a large plant stand. The incident is handled with appropriate poise, although the author, feeling sympathy for the server, considers how people choose to handle anxieties and misbehaviors in themselves and others. One tearoom is so cozily homelike that Kennedy is moved to explore the question, “How do we create a home?”
Kennedy, who has lived in various parts of the US and has had the opportunity for international journeying, offers readers the chance to share the tearoom atmospheres, often remarkable food accompaniments, and symbolic incidents that she so deftly describes. Each portion of this charming collection leads from tea to larger themes for further contemplation, often with references to other writers in the self-help and spiritual genres. Each segment includes a worksheet for readers, allowing them to answer questions based on the story presented. Thus, reader becomes participant, which is clearly what Kennedy had in mind – to share her perceptions and perhaps evoke others to share their own. The overarching metaphor of the tearoom in its many variations provides rich material for the author’s religious and relevant viewpoints to come to the fore. Hers is a work that could enliven a seminar, inviting lively group discussion and individual reflection.
Quill says: Kennedy’s Tea Attitudes exudes caring, sharing, and enduring wisdom garnered through global travel and a passion for a good cup of the beverage she so warmly extols.
For more information on Tea Attitudes: A Blend of Tea, Life & Faith, please visit the book's website at: www.teaattitudesbook.com/